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RE: KillieTalk Digest V2 #1281
Response to Dale Deck's Observations
Subject: Re: North American Killies
I have had some experience with Fundulus sciadiacus a native
of Nebraska. They will spawn only after being winterized for
a period of time. I have not found out how long and at what temperature
but have found they will not spawn after a 6 week period at 60 degrees.
I did spawn some wild caught in May of this year.
How true is this of the more southerly Fundulus, do all of them
have to go through the cold spell.
I haven't taken many Fundulus to a second generation but most wild
"southern" Fundulus don't seem to need wintering, however, I can only
comment on one group specifically.
The lineolatus group (dispar, notti, blairae, escambiae and lineolatus)
don't seem to be a problem but do prefer warmer conditions to trigger
On a number of occasions I have had spawns from Fund. zebrinus but I have
been unable to get the F1 generation to spawn. On the other hand I have
been able to carry Fund. euryzonus through a number of generations without
any need for wintering (fish from Mississippi just north of the Louisiana
The Xenisma are a pain in the butt and I have had but mixed success. I was
able to bring my original Fund. julisia through 5 generations but might have
benefited from "wintering them" in bottom tanks where the temperature was
about 60. CFI reports a need to get them down into the 50's for success. I
have spawned both Fund. stellifer and rathbuni (wild fish) simply by raising
the temperature in the summer, however, I have had zero luck with Fund.
catenatus on several attempts. All three species were caught essential at
the same latitude (in NC, TN and MO respectfully), however, my CAT fishing
usually comes in late October or early to mid November when the water is
pretty darn cold (measured once at 33 F -- my seine froze stiff in walking
from the river to the car!) I have a group each of catenatus and stellifer
in my greenhouse currently and the water temp is below 50 F in the 100
gallon stocktanks. I will place them outdoors next summer and see if I have
any success in heavily planted stocktanks. The catenatus were there this
past summer without any reproduction after having spent the previous winter
in lower tanks in the fish room. I must admit that those fish when caught
were relatively small (YOY) and may not have been mature enough to spawn --
they should be breed -able this year.
Not enough effort has gone into maintaining Fundulus, at least through more
than one generation. Too many people seem to get the fish and then don't
make a big effort to spawn them since they assume it is easy to get more.
It may be the case if you have a friend who can simply head a few miles from
his house and collect a few for you and send them to you. However, if you
live anything more than a 3 hour drive from the fish's habitat/range it
starts to get expensive, as much so as any African Aphyosemion. Those that
do spawn a Fundulus species seem to do it for one generation and move on --
attitude of been there, done that, got the BAP points. When you
periodically go back to collecting locations over several years you start
seeing changes and often times the fish get harder to find (and not because
I keep cleaning 'em out!) You will notice more houses in the vicinity or
more development. We tend to worry a lot about disappearing species in
Africa or other foreign countries but hey, it is happening here also.
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